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Through the First Antarctic Night, 1898–1899: A Narrative of the Voyage of the "Belgica" Among Newly Discovered Lands and Over an Unknown Sea about the South Pole

Biography / Memoir

Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Polar Exploration

By: Frederick A Cook (Author)

658 pages, 127 b/w illustrations, 4 maps, 12 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2015 | #215771 | ISBN-13: 9781108076746
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £36.99 $45/€42 approx

About this book

A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.

In this illustrated 1900 publication, Frederick Cook (1865–1940) gives a detailed account of his experiences on the Belgian Antarctic Expedition, the first to endure the harsh winter of the Antarctic. The goal of the expedition was scientific discovery, and Cook, the ship's doctor, tells an engaging story of 'new human experience in a new, inhuman world of ice'. Boarding the Belgica in Rio de Janeiro, he joined a crew that included Roald Amundsen, who would later lead a Norwegian expedition to the South Pole. Cook describes the challenging conditions in the Antarctic Circle, where the ship became ice-bound for almost a year, with over two months of total darkness. When crew members developed scurvy, Cook took over command from the Belgian naval officer Adrien de Gerlache. Notably, he helped save lives by promoting the consumption of penguin and seal meat at a time when Vitamin C had yet to be discovered.



1. In and about Rio de Janeiro
2. From Rio de Janeiro to Montevideo
3. Organisation of the expedition
4. The Belgica, her equipment, her comforts and discomforts
5. Montevideo to Punta Arenas
6. Punta Arenas, the southernmost town
7. From Punta Arenas to Ushuaia, through the Fuegian Channels
8. A race of Fuegian giants
9. Discoveries in a new world of ice
10. Discoveries in a new world of ice (continued)
11. From Dancoland to Alexander Islands
12. Across the Antarctic Circle – first efforts to penetrate the pack
13. Along the edge of the pack-ice
14. Over unknown waters into the frozen sea
15. Helpless in a hopeless sea of ice
16. Bird's-eye view of the pack – autumnal tempests
17. The fading days of the autumn
18. The autumn (continued). Work and pastime
19. The fading days of the autumn (continued)
20. The days of twilight preceding the long night
21. The South Polar night – departure of the sun
22. The South Polar night (continued). Days of discontentment
23. The South Polar night (continued). The death of Danco
24. The South Polar night (continued). Midnight to dawn
25. Spring – sunrise – twilight of dawn
26. The spring (continued). Return of light – a sledge journey
27. Summer
28. Summer (continued)
29. Freed from the ice-embraces – return to civilisation


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